Who should Yankees want in wild card? The answer is clear

Bring on the Twinkies.

If the Yankees don’t get enough help to beat the Red Sox in the AL East, and time is rapidly running out, the next best thing is for the Twins to make a return visit to The Bronx come Oct. 3.

That is the date of the AL wild-card game. Bring on the Twins instead of the Angels.

The wild-card game was not kind to the Yankees in 2015 when Dallas Keuchel and the Astros shut out the Yankees 3-0 at Yankee Stadium, ending their postseason before it ever got started.

The Yankees cannot afford to lose the wild-card game this time around. Much more is expected.

“The Twins are the better matchup for the Yankees,’’ said one scout at Yankee Stadium before the Yankees whipped the Twins, 5-2 Tuesday night. “The Angels have more firepower at this point.’’

They sure do.

The Yankees have a solid six-game lead over the Twins for the first wild card. The Twins lead the Angels by one game in the loss column.
Brett Gardner is confident, no matter what opponent the Yankees face.

“I think we match up well against anybody,’’ Gardner told The Post after his three-hit, two-RBI night. “We still have our sights on trying to catch Boston. We’ll see how it plays out.’’

Noted another scout, who has kept close tabs on the Twins all season: “The young Twins hitters will chase and kind of get themselves out. That can only work to the Yankees advantage especially in such a big moment as a one-game playoff.’’

Put me in agreement with the scouts.

The Twins have never beaten the Yankees in the postseason, check out the ALDS in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010.

The Yankees have the Twins’ October number. There is a strong comfort level against the Twins, who had difficulty hitting, pitching and fielding Tuesday night.

You don’t want to take your chances in a winner-takes-all playoff game with the likes of the Angels’ Mike Trout, who is backed up by Justin Upton and Albert Pujols. The Angels have beaten the Yankees in two of their three postseason meetings.

In their heart of hearts, Yankees players would be much more comfortable facing the Twins. You can be sure of that although they will say it really doesn’t matter who they play.

When manager Joe Girardi was asked if he had a preference, Twins or Angels, he said, “You play the team that you got to play.’’

He quickly added, “the preference is not to be the wild card and to be the division winner.’’

Yes, there is still a slim chance, but the Red Sox won another extra innings game Tuesday night, 1-0 over the Orioles.

The Yankees still have time to win the division but remain three games back with 11 to play. The Red Sox need to collapse for the Yankees to have any chance to win the East. The Yankees are still in it and that is why Luis Severino will pitch Wednesday against the Twins.

If it comes down to a wild-card game, the Yankees should start Severino. But it depends on how the AL East race goes.

If the Yankees play the Twins, they may have to face a more difficult starting pitcher in Ervin Santana or young Jose Berrios but Yankees hitters will take their chances against them. The exhausted-looking Berrios couldn’t get out of the fourth inning Tuesday night. The Angels figure to start Garrett Richards.

In a one-game battle look to the bullpen as the biggest difference between the teams. The Angels boast the fourth-best bullpen ERA of 3.73, right behind the Yankees 3.47 but the Twins are 12th in the AL with a 4.49 ERA out of the pen. Mike Scioscia would have more weapons to work with than Paul Molitor.

Both the Twins and the Angels would qualify as “just happy to be here’’ opponents so that works in the Yankees favor too, but the Angels are the more veteran team and Trout could be such a difference-maker.

Bring on the Twins.

Source: http://nypost.com/2017/09/20/who-should-yankees-want-in-wild-card-the-answer-is-clear/

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